5 Reasons Why You Should Get the Party Started on the Catalina Express

From Sealife to Great Service, Plan Your Trip ASAP!

Written By: Ashlee Polarek How to Get to Catalina Island

Catalina Island is home to a thriving herd of American Bison, pristine snorkeling, gorgeous hikes, to-die-for food and amazing hotels. The Catalina Express should be your mode of transportation to enjoy all that the island has to offer, and below are five reasons to secure yourself the next ticket over on one of the many boats that take off from Long Beach.

How to Get to Catalina Island

Sips Ahoy!

Board the ship and head straight to the galley to grab yourself one of the famous Catalina Express Spicy-Bean Bloody Marys. This boozy beverage treat has been around as long as the boats have, proving that good things never die. This signature drink is made complete with Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, a specially-blended tomato juice and is topped with a spicy green bean.

How to Get to Catalina Island

Sit Back, Relax and Cruise

With a $15 Commodore Lounge upgrade, you can travel in style and absolute comfort as you make your way to Catalina. This first-class experience gets you priority boarding, seat-to-ceiling level windows in the upstairs lounge, reclining leather seats as well as a drink and a snack. The upgrade is totally worth it for the intimacy, sweeping views and an excuse to grab a drink as you enjoy the ride.

Dolphins, Whales and Fish, Oh My!

Enjoy the added bonus of watching sealife as you ride. Dolphins love the wakes made by the boats as they travel to and from the island so you can almost always spot a dolphin pod while on the Express. During whale migrations, it’s common to spot a whale while out at sea. If you do see one of these ocean giants, the captain may slow down so everyone can catch a glimpse of the beautiful creatures!  

How to Get to Catalina Island

All Aboard!

With 30 departures daily you are sure to find a boat that meets your travel needs. However, the trip is about more than the wonderful convenience of so many departure times, it’s about seeing the sunrise while at sea. The secret to starting an ideal day on Catalina is taking the 6 a.m. boat and watching the sunrise on a quiet cruise to the island. Boats fill up fast, especially during the summer months so be sure to book ahead and try for early morning or noon departures.


Time is of Essence!

Enjoy your journey the second you step on-board the Express. Pick up the Catalina Island map and a magazine on-board and plan out your day. Most of our cabin attendants, deck hands and captains are the best Catalina Island experts. If you have questions about the island, don’t hesitate to ask. They love to share their experiences. For more ideas of things to do visit CatalinaExpress.com/itineraries.

Native Knowledge: Arrive early—the boat will not wait! Give yourself time to check in and have a meal in one of the Catalina Express Bistros before you board.

Catalina Express
320 Golden Shore
Long Beach, CA 90802

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Ashlee is a freelance writer with a focus on travel, lifestyle and food. After obtaining her degree in Journalism she took the world by storm teaching in South Korea and giving motivation speeches across the United States. She can often be found on road-trips, plane rides and cooking up her favorite meal from her most recent travels. The anti-homebody loves a good hike, good book and a day spent with friends.


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